Doubling Univac’s Speed! (Sep, 1955)

Doubling Univac’s Speed!

The famous Univac of Remington Rand has widened even further its lead over other electronic business computing systems. Univac is still the only completely self-checked system… the only one which can read, write, and compute simultaneously without extra equipment. And now, the Univac II adds to these superior features the speed of a magnetic-core memory.

The Remington Rand magnetic-core memory is more than a laboratory promise. It has been in actual customer use for over a year, passing all tests with flying colors in the first commercially available electronic computer to use core storage successfully.

The size of the internal memory of Univac has also been doubled, giving instantaneous access to 24,000 numeric characters. (If needed, this capacity can be increased to 120,000 characters.) Univac’s external memory—magnetic tape—now has greater capacity too, increasing input and output to 20,000 characters per second… the equivalent of reading or writing every character on this page more than 1,000 times a minute.

These new Univac developments can be incorporated into any existing installation to double its speed and to increase its economy still further.


  1. Dillenger69 says: March 3, 20083:01 pm

    What’s spooky is that that very magnetic core memory was at the heart of the Sperry Univac cp890 I worked on in the late 80s and early 90s while in the navy.

  2. Charlie says: March 3, 20083:16 pm

    My understanding is that one of the big advantages of core memory is that it’s very hard to accidentally erase. It’s not vulnerable to cosmic rays and such. That is one reason they used it for certain parts of the memory for the space shuttle. I remember reading somewhere that when the challenger blew up they reassembled the core memory (each ring was numbered) and read the data from the moment it exploded.

  3. Alan J. Richer says: March 4, 20081:06 pm

    Unless it’s deliberately demagnetized it won’t erase. This is very unlike modern semiconductor memory (which is capacitor-based) where the locations have to be refreshed on a very short cycle to maintain their integrity.

    There was static semiconductor memory, but even that would lose its storage if power was removed. Yes, I know there were PROMs, EPROMs and other types of static semiconductor memory but these were never used as system memory as core was.


  4. mlines says: April 8, 200811:36 am

    Core memory is immune to electromagnetic pulse (EMP). Back in the ’70s I was shown core memory cards in equipment inside a missile defense command capsule. Core has less bytes per volume than other memory of the era, but it does no good in a war to have your memory wiped out by an EMP from a nuke.

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